Bel Canto DAC3 or Cambridge Audio 840C?

Which is "better" as an outboard DAC? I love the fact that I'd be getting a CD player out of the 840C as well, but I listen to FLAC files from my file server a lot more.

I like a sound that is smooth, but detailed, on the warm side. Airy, liquid vocals are first priority. Classe, Bel Canto, Conrad Johnson tube pre-amps, newer Sonus Faber are my cup of tea, to give y'all an idea. I have an Audio Experience Symphonies Plus-R tube pre, Bel Canto S300, and Usher BE-718 speakers.
I haven't heard the Cambridge or the Bel Canto but if you like a smooth but detailed sound you should also consider the Tdac, it has a very analog sound with an extremely clean presentation and can be had for less than either the Bel Canto or the Cambridge
Thanks Meman, this is very interesting. Seems like a winner from what I'm reading. OK I'm taking TDAC into consideration now. I'd really like to hear from somebody who has experience with TDAC and Bel Canto DAC-3. I have read reports of TDAC outshining Benchmark by a considerable margin, which is impressive.
Being a Bel Canto dealer and an Usher dealer and also being a former Cambridge dealer, I feel quite confident in the pairing of your equipment with the Bel Canto DAC3. The bonus, with the DAC3 is that you can simplify your system if you have all digital sources by getting rid of the preamp and having the DAC3 drive the amp directly. But, you could easily try it through your preamp or driving the amp directly to see what you prefer. I was just visiting a friend/customer of mine last night that has the DAC3 from me with the M300 monos and BE-718's and it is a very nice combination. The Cambridge 840C is very nice for the money, but it's not in the league of the DAC3, IMHO. According to your sonic preferences, the DAC3 is a better match for you than the 840C.
dac three all the way, I have a dac 3 vbs combo driving rogue m180 monoblocks and revel f32s and it sounds superb. good luck,chris
It is your lucky day. I own a DAC3 and would be willing to sell it to you for $1199 including shipping. It is in absolutely perfect condition. I am the original owner and I have all of the original equipment as well as box. I am interested in a $5000 dac and it would offset approximately 20% of the cost.
Sorry, not in the market right now. I'm sure somebody will snatch it up on the classifieds. Has anybody heard both the Tdac and the Bel Canto?
Here's a link in the AVS forum from someone last year comparing the Tadac to the Bel Canto 3 bear in mind this was the previous model Tadac. The Tdac is supposed to be much better. Scroll down to Zissou's comments
Oops, here's the link
Well, to tide me over until I'm ready to go into the $1k range I got myself an MHDT Paradisea NOS DAC with a Tung Sol 2C51 tube, and my goodness I am really enjoying it! I now find myself loving the music again and not getting bogged down by the details! Granted my previous DAC (MSB Link III, and briefly the DAC in my Classe SSP-300 pre/proc) was a weak link in my system, but the kind of smooth, coherent, emotive sound that the Paradisea puts out really suits me. Now I remember why I cling to my tube pre-amp. The soundstage can be a little skewed IMO, and it's not the most detailed, but it doesn't really bother me.

I'd really be interested to read a comparison between the Havana and the TDac. I know there's a thread out there, but only one person had experience with both Havana and TDac (not TaDac).

I'm guess I'm just going to have to get all 3 (DAC3, Havana, TDac) and decide which one to keep.
Just for your info I just had an in home audition of the new dac3.5 VBS verses the dac three and it is no contest, the new generation wins big time, It is by far the best digital sound I have had at home. I am so confident in what I am hearing I would put the DAC3.5 vbs combo up against anything at any price, Its really that good. I have to admire john stronzers no bs approach to digital design, one of the best clocks money can buy, galvanized isolated inputs for low noise, reducing input jitter to almost immeasurable levels, pure class A output stage, and one of the most regulated power supplies in the industry. It all adds up to specs that could make sony blush, and a sound that is fantastic. well worth hearing one for yourself, happy listening, Chris